The Truest Star is Yourself!

Dedicated to Kimberly Russell, a StarTeacher


What makes someone a star? You might think that grades, humor, passion, or something of the like. You might admire your friends’ soccer skills or artistic abilities and think that’s what makes them a star. Thanks to a film in the newest on-demand streaming service, I’ve been evaluating the stars in my life. Disney + came out in Brazil a couple of weeks ago, and I was extremely excited, to say the least. I talked about it in my classes, to friends and family, and I even brought it up with one of my teachers. While some may be drawn to watch The Mandalorian, others may revisit the Marvel franchise– I, however, was drawn to the movie Stargirl. What made me watch “Stargirl”? Well, let’s rewind back to 2016. I first came across Stargirl through Jerry Spineli’s book (which the movie is based on) of the same name. I read it for my EAP class with Mrs. Russell.  The class was relaxing, the air was warm, and the book was outrageously good. The simple and bright cover and the story’s intricate details kept me speedily flipping through the pages. This happy memory motivated me to sit back, relax and press play.

So, what is the movie about? Well, The story revolves around Leo Burlock, a student at Mica High, in the town of Mica, Arizona. We are told by Leo himself that not a lot of things happen there. One day when playing in the marching band, Leo comes across Stargirl Caraway, a quirky student in his class. She has a sunny attitude, carries a hamster to school and even carries a ukulele every day in her backpack. The plot of the movie revolves around Leo’s interactions with the mysterious “Stargirl”, who is seen as being unique compared to everyone else at Mica. Stargirl dresses in yellow, while her peers dress up in monotonous tones. Her signature t-shirt is a mix of blue, black, red, green, and pink, while her classmates wear mostly grey and black. On top of the colorful style, Stargirl also wears glitter and other distinctive pieces of clothing.

Apart from the eponymous girl, other Stargirl characters are guaranteed to attract viewers. There’s Archie, Mica’s resident dinosaur expert and the owner of the “dinotastic” summer camp– a place for kids to spend their time learning about these fantastic beasts. Leo’s friend, Karan, is also a constant presence throughout the movie and he competes in Mica’s speech competition. All of them have their own characteristics that make them unique. Archie is methodical. Stargirl is cheerful. Karan is composed. Together Leo’s friends run the school’s local Hotseat Program where students are interviewed for their talents, unique traits, and individuality in order to promote diversity in the High School. 

Available since November 17th, 2020, anyone with a Disney+ subscription can enjoy the film!  Grab some popcorn, prepare for a fun, light-hearted film, and enjoy the experience with your loved ones. With an uplifting soundtrack, you’ll surely leave your seat ecstatic after the credits roll down! It’s a blast from start to finish. If you are looking for some lively and cheery fun, you will find it in Stargirl for sure– be it through songs or jokes.

Though it’s fun and has great characters, Stargirl is above all else a movie about being yourself. The book’s cover tells us this. The movie’s story tells us this. Both hint at what makes people’s stars– simply who you are. Part of what makes me me is Graded; going about my day looking at the hallways and chatting with my peers. As for Mrs. Russell’s class, it was exactly where I wanted to be– reading Stargirl with my teacher and friends. Now the question is, what makes you and your star? 


Image sources: Clker, Pixabay